Matthew evacuees pack Tampa area hotels

Florida residents fleeing the east coast are finding places to stay in the Bay area.

Families on Florida's East Coast looking for a safe place to stay are running out of options.

10News WTSP called more than four dozen hotels across Tampa Bay and couldn't find a single available room for people fleeing Hurricane Matthew.
           
"I'm sorry unfortunately we are sold out tonight and tomorrow night," said front desk employees at hotels up and down Clearwater Beach.

"Everything sold out. Sold out, booked, booked, booked," said Javier Capalvo who searched for more than an hour for an available room. "I tried to get into Marco Island, Fort Myers, Naples, had nothing. No hotels to be found." 

Matt Nicholas got lucky. He, his wife and three kids snagged the last hotel room in Clearwater Beach. After urgent pleas from his little ones, the family fled from their home in Jupiter.

"My kids, they knew it was coming. They were like gotta go, gotta go, dad," Nicholas said.

Capalvo was supposed to be enjoying a vacation in Boca Raton when he and his family were forced to evacuate.

"They told us leave today because tomorrow is going to be worse and worse. The highways and the traffic are going to be a mess," he said.

Families that waited too long to leave may be out of luck finding a place to stay. That's why websites like Airbnb are urging all of us who have a home, apartment or condo on the West Coast of Florida to offer up a room for free to families that have no place to stay.

Airbnb helps evacuees find free housing

For the families relocated in Tampa Bay, it's now a waiting game. They'll be safely waiting out Hurricane Matthew and hoping their homes on the other coast will weather the storm.

"Your business can be redone, your home can be redone. But your life -- it cannot be redone," said Capalvo with a chuckle.

Most hotels are booked through Saturday, but if you know somebody looking for a hotel this weekend after the storms roll through, you shouldn't have trouble finding availability.

More on Hurricane Matthew:

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